Bike Tour in Basque Country: from Bilbao to France by the coast
Welcome to Bilbao, the vibrant capital of the Basque Country. After our guides pick you up at the local airport/train station and transfer you to your first hotel for the briefing and bike setup of the tour, take the day to settle into your accommodation, explore the city's highlights, and visit the iconic Guggenheim Museum, a masterpiece of contemporary architecture by Frank Gehry. Enjoy leisure time in Bilbao, savouring Basque cuisine at local restaurants and experiencing the city's unique cultural atmosphere.
Hotel: Vinnci Consulado de Bilbao (standard) or upgrade to Grand Hotel Domine Bilbao in premium option
After breakfast at your hotel, your cycling journey begins as you leave Bilbao. The route immediately challenges you with a climb, offering stunning views of Bilbao from above. Along the way, you'll briefly join the Camino de Santiago and then the road soon widens, providing a more manageable gradient shaded by trees. You'll enter a classic Basque cycling route, often used for professional training. Keep an eye out for race markings on the tarmac and cheer on aspiring cyclists. The ride takes you to Lezama and a rare flat section toward Larrabetzu. From there, you'll descend to Guernica, famous for Picasso's masterpiece. Explore the town, including a reproduction of the mural and the site where village leaders once gathered around an oak tree. Sample Basque cuisine, particularly the mild green peppers, before reaching your final destination, the prestigious Castillo de Arteaga.
Hotel: Castillo de Arteaga )upgrade to superior room in premium option)
After breakfast, you'll depart from Guernica, starting with a coastal route that treats you to scenic lagoons and beaches bordering the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve. Enjoy the serene beauty and follow the dedicated cycleway. You'll then arrive in Lekeitio and continue along the coastal road, which boasts breathtaking views. If hunger strikes, your guide can direct you to a fantastic pizza place in Ondarroa. Continue your journey along the picturesque coast. In the evening, dine in Deba, a charming town where you can savor the local cuisine.
Hotel: Hotel Arbe (upgrade to superior room in the premium option)
After breakfast, start the day with a gentle ride along the coast, relishing the scenic beauty. As you approach Itziar and Azurki, you'll encounter the only climb of the day. Enjoy a refreshing stop in Zestoa before embarking on a pleasant gravel road, part of the Via Verde network. This path leads to Azpeita, where you can explore the sanctuary of Ignatius de Loyola. Conclude the day with a manageable climb that offers breathtaking vistas. Your overnight stay is at the beautiful Hotel Irriarte.
After breakfast, descend from your hotel and head towards Tolosa. The route takes you through picturesque landscapes and forests. You'll then arrive in Villabona and begin the ascent to Aia, entering the Parque Natural Pagoeta. This climb is challenging but rewarding. Descend to Orio, where you can enjoy lunch at a local bar. Then, tackle the Monte Igeldo climb, known for its stunning views and local dining options. Arrive in San Sebastian and relax at your hotel, located in the heart of the town.
Hotel: Hotel de Londres y Inglaterra (standard option) or Hotel Villa Favorita (premium option)
After breakfast, start the day with a climb up Jaizkibel, a classic route that offers incredible views. As you descend, you'll cross into France, marking the transition to French cuisine. Pass through Irun and Hendaye as you approach the French border. Enjoy your first croissant on the journey. Arrive in Saint Jean de Luz and savour the French "savoir-vivre" with delicious food and wine at a cyclist-friendly café.
Hotel: Hotel de La Plage
(standard option) or Grand Hotel Thallasso & Spa (premium option)
Breakfast and check-out at your hotel. At the scheduled time, transfer to Saint Jean de Luz train station.